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Sources: Papers On Health

This, in various forms, as brandy, whiskey, rum, wine,

cordials, beer and stout, is a frequent prescription in many troubles.

In no cases have we known good effects from its use, which is most

strongly to be condemned. Various reasons for this statement will be

found under the heading of troubles for which alcohol is prescribed.

Here we simply give the fundamental truths as to its action on the


In our system of treatment we ever seek to nurse and stimulate those

nerve-masses which constitute the sources of vital action. Every drop

of alcohol does so much to weaken and destroy these. A certain

quantity, if taken by the strongest man, will kill that man as surely

as a bullet in the brain. Half the quantity will only render him

insensible. Half that, again, only renders him incapable of controlling

his bodily movements. Half that, again, only slightly disturbs the

system; but it affects him in the very same manner in which the fatal

dose affects him, though not in the same degree. It is a narcotic, and

like all such, it always reduces vital action, while nothing is more

important in all healing than to increase it. Hence alcohol is the

deadly foe of healing, and one chief preparer of the system to fall

before disease. The so-called stimulating action of alcohol has been

thoroughly explained by the author of these papers in other writings,

and shewn to be simply an indirect and temporary effect, obtained at

the price of a considerable reduction of the general vitality of the

nervous system.

Young ladies, as a class, are subject to a terrible danger. Great

numbers of mothers actually make their daughters drunkards by ever and

again dosing them with brandy. This is done in secret, and imagined to

be a most excellent thing. For instance, if the bowels get lax, as is

the case in certain stages of disease, brandy is given as a remedy. How

little do those who give it know that it is lessening vital energy and

making cure impossible! But it is doing nothing else. We have many

times over seen the dying sufferer restless and ill with nothing but

the effects of constant small doses of brandy, or alcohol in some other


In looseness of the bowels we give a teaspoonful of lemon juice in a

little hot water and sugar. That has as much effect as is desirable,

and it has no bad effect whatever. Or enema injections may be employed.

(See Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Enema). Even infants are treated with

"brandy," till we cannot help believing they die of the drink, and

would survive if it were put away. Gradually the cruel folly of all

this will, we doubt not, dawn upon the general mind.